R.I.P. Debbie Reynolds, Hollywood icon and mother of Carrie Fisher, has died at 84

Legendary actress suffered a massive stroke just one day after her daughter's death

Legendary actress Debbie Reynolds has died at the age of 84.

The Academy Award-nominated star suffered a stroke on Wednesday afternoon, barely 24 hours after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher. Reynolds was making funeral arrangements at the house of her son, Todd Fisher, when she was rushed to the hospital following a 911 call.

“She wanted to be with Carrie,” her son Todd Fisher told Variety.

A Hollywood icon for over 65 years, Reynolds’ breakthrough roles came in 1950 with The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady and Three Little Words, the latter of which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year. She would go on to star in classics such as Singin’ in the RainThe Catered Affair, Bundle of JoyThe Unsinkable Molly Brown, and Charlotte’s Web, earning four more Golden Globe nods and an Oscar nomination along the way.  Her acting career wasn’t just limited to big screen pictures, however. The Debbie Reynolds Show ran for one season from 1969 to 1970, for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the Globes. She would later be nominated for the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy for her recurring role as Bobbi Adler on Will & Grace.

For much of the ’70s, Reynolds took her talents to the stage, acting on Broadway and throughout the country. She received a Tony nomination for her performance in the 1973 revival of Irene, which also saw the late Fisher make her Broadway debut. Reprising her role as the title character, she toured with a stage production of The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 1989. In 2010, she starred in her own one-woman show, Debbie Reynolds: Alive and Fabulous, in London’s West End.

Though she never won a major award during her career, she has been repeatedly honored for her on screen achievements. In 1997, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy from the American Comedy Awards. More recently, she received a Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2014, as well as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2015 Academy Awards. Given to individuals for their “outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes,” Reynolds earned the Hersholt Award thanks to her years of involvement with The Thalians, a Hollywood-based mental health organization of which she remained President Emeritus after stepping down in 2011.

Acting wasn’t the only career path for Reynolds. Many of her biggest films were musicals, and she parlayed that success into a career in pop music. Her debut album, entitled Debbie, was released in 1959. She had Billboard hits with songs such as “A Very Special Love” (1958) and “Am I That Easy to Forget (1960). Her most recent audio release was a Christmas album called Chrissy the Christmas Mouse. Reynolds also at one point owned a Las Vegas casino and a museum containing millions of dollars worth of Hollywood memorabilia, including Marilyn Monroe’s famous white “subway” dress and Charlie Chaplin’s bowler hat.

Reynolds’ relationship with her daughter, Carrie, was often a strained one. They had largely reconciled in their later years, however, and even worked together on a documentary entitled Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, which premiered at Cannes earlier this year and is set for an HBO debut in 2017.

Reynolds previously suffered a stroke in 2015, an event Fisher referenced while discussing Bright Lights with People. “It’s a lot of times terrifying, but watching my mother, who’s incredibly resilient, coping with certain health issues that she’s had,” Fisher said of Reynolds. “We were really lucky we got really what probably could be her last [big project].”


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